With the pastors at my home congregation moving on, the church will be entering the call process to eventually call another pastor or pastors for the congregation. This generally takes several months, even years, before the paperwork is finalized, the synod notified, interim work is completed, and the potential interviews are begun. In my head, I couldn’t help but think that St. John Lutheran would be ready to call a new pastor around the time my fellow classmates graduate. Since Brian and Andrea were first call pastors, it’s quite possible the church would consider another first call pastor. So one of my classmates may very well end up getting a call to my home congregation.
Upon realizing this, I started looking at my fellow classmates with another focal lens in place. I would hear them talk, teach, provide spiritual, emotional, mental support to others and think “would they be able to lead the people of St. John?” Time after time, the answer turned out to be yes. I realized that not only were these my classmates, but they were pastors, finalizing their classes and anticipating calls.It has been a pleasant surprise to see this calling strengthened and honed over the past few years, to the point that I would be happy if any of them ended up in my home congregation.
Along the same lines as thinking about them in regards to St. John, I also started thinking “could they be my pastor?” Again, the answer was yes. I realized that not only could they be my pastor, but on some level they already have been. I’ve gone to my classmates with my fears, concerns, joys, dreams, etc. and had them provide affirming insights time after time. I hope they are able to say the same about me, and look forward to seeing where we all end up. Looking back to our first days together, the growth and maturation is astonishing. This isn’t to say that we were all immature slackers to begin with, but that this process has managed to shape us all in amazing and wonderful ways.
I leave you with these words from the ELW Morning Prayer:
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.